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Beer & Cheese Pairings for St. Patrick's Day

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

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 I might have missed the Chicago St. Patrick's Day celebration this year, but even without having been there, I know that festivities aren't just for the Irish anymore.  It seems that most people will take any excuse to celebrate - even celebrate means funny green hats and green beer.

If you're tired of corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread just won't cut it this year, beer and cheese is a party pairing that is quickly gaining popularity in pubs and fromageries alike.

On St. Patrick's Day the typical type of beer consumed is either a stout-style beer, such as Guinness, a lager-style beer, like Harp.  Creamy Blue Cheeses and Sharp Cheddars are full-flavored accompaniments to the rich, malty flavor found in stout beers.  If you favor lighter, lager-style beer, a California Jack or Smoky Gouda would perfectly complement the smooth, clean taste of this popular style of beer.

When choosing a beer and cheese, think about pairing wine and cheese. A lot of the same rules apply. Pick a beer and cheese of similar varieties so the flavor profiles will stand up to one another, but not compete.

The following chart from the Real California Milk Board tells you exactly what kind of beer to pair with your favorite cheese -- or depending on how Irish you are, maybe the other way around.

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